Study: Thousands of Lowcountry homes at risk for 'chronic inundation' by 2045

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists Monday paints a grim future for some residents of the South Carolina coast when it comes to water invading their homes.

Data collected by scientists suggests that more than 7,000 homes in the Lowcountry stretching from Moncks Corner down to Kiawah Island are at risk of "chronic inundation flooding" by 2045.

This kind of flooding is defined as high tide flooding that happens 26 times per year or more.

The scientific scenario assumes a projected global sea level rise of two feet by 2045.

"I mean, I don't want to live in a place that you've got risk of going underwater," Mount Pleasant resident Bobby Valach said.

The City of Charleston proper had 1,629 homes listed with a property tax risk of $11,476,441 by 2045.

Kiawah Island also had 1,562 homes at a risk of $13,056,057.

More than 870 homes were at risk on James Island while 280 homes could be in jeopardy on Johns Island.

"It's not a huge concern because it's easily remedied, but I did hear it's going to be a more prevalent occurrence," Ian Webster, who is moving to Charleston next week, said.

South Carolina is fifth in the nation for most homes at risk in both 2045 and by the end of the century.

The homes at risk in 2045 statewide currently contribute about $71 million in annual property tax revenue.

"I feel like it would be worse down here, like downtown, but in Mount Pleasant, just simple stuff like a soccer ball. It's kind of agitating," Valach said.

The study adds that homes that would face this flooding in South Carolina by 2100 are currently worth roughly $52.7 billion.

Some downtown Charleston residents said they have concerns what the results of the study could mean for their plans to stay in Charleston.

"I would at some point want to move back here and I guess I could see a problem with the flooding," Charleston resident Hiral Patel said.

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